Friday, March 20, 2020
The House and Senate returned to Columbia briefly this past week to approve emergency funding in response to the Coronavirus.
The General Assembly has postponed the legislative session until further notice.
REMINDER: Wash your hands. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough. Stay home if you’re sick.
The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday adopted a strike and insert amendment to H. 4014 (Reps. Hixon, Tallon, Johnson and others) to include $45 million from the Contingency Reserve Fund to the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) for the coordination of the state’s public health response to the COVID-19 virus. Later that day, the full Senate unanimously adopted the bill and sent it to the House for consideration.
The House of Representatives met Thursday and approved the funding measure, which was signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster minutes later. The $45 million response funding includes:
- $14.8 million for protective equipment
- $14.5 million for additional staffing — lab, investigations, care-line phone bank
- $5 million for staff support — lab supplies, equipment, information technology for telework
- $5 million contingency funds for unanticipated costs
- $2.5 million for educational campaign (radio, TV, social media)
- $1.9 million for transportation costs and lab supplies
- $1.7 million for quarantine and support of indigent patients
Both the House and Senate will remain in recess for the foreseeable future.
The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is offering free Telehealth consultations and screenings to anyone experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms located in South Carolina. New and existing patients must use the promo code COVID19.
For more information on the virus, the DHEC’s information page is here.
The DHEC Care Line is available to provide general information about COVID-19 by calling 1-855-472-3432 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., seven days a week.
Other helpful links:
The Emergency Management Division provides links to important information, including the South Carolina Department on Aging, SC Childcare, the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, the Department of Revenue and the South Carolina Department of Insurance.
South Carolina Department of Commerce for small business information and assistance.
Information for parents, teachers and students regarding statewide school closures can be found at the SC Department of Education.
The 2020 Candidate Filing Period opened at noon on Monday, March 16, and closes at noon, March 30. Any candidate seeking a political party’s nomination for any office in the 2020 General Election must file with the appropriate county board of voter registration and elections or the South Carolina Election Commission during this period.
All 170 seats in the S.C. General Assembly (124 House seats and 46 Senate seats) are up for election this year, along with numerous county and local offices.
Partisan primary elections are scheduled for June 9, with runoff elections scheduled for June 23, if necessary. If no candidate receives a majority of votes in a partisan primary election in South Carolina, the top two vote-getters advance to a head-to-head match-up two weeks later.
For more information, go here.
South Carolina’s longest-serving legislator has announced he will not seek re-election in 2020.
State Senator John Mathews (D-Orangeburg) served in the House of Representatives from 1975-1984 and has served in the Senate since 1985, representing District 39 serving parts of Berkeley, Calhoun, Colleton, Dorchester and Orangeburg counties.
Senator Greg Gregory (R-Lancaster, District 16) has also announced he will not seek re-election.
House members who have announced they will not seek re-election include:
- Mac Toole (R-Lexington, District 88)
- Gary Clary (R-Pickens, District 3)
- David Mack (D-Charleston, District 109)
- Robert Brown (D-Hollywood, District 116)
- Converse Chellis (R-Summerville, District 94)
- Mike Sotille (R-Isle of Palms, District 112)
- Eddie Tallon (R-Spartanburg, District 33)
- Mike Forrester (R-Spartanburg, District 34)
The General Assembly will not meet next week or in the foreseeable future. We will keep you apprised as to any updates regarding the state’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Look to SCACPA’s ‘The View from the Dome’ for State House Developments on Tax Issues Through SC’s 2020 Legislative Session. Sine Die adjournment is scheduled for May 14.